Subject: A caterpillar that I have not seen before!
Location: Southwest Michigan
August 25, 2016 8:48 pm
I found this caterpillar near my garage door while trimming my fire bushes. I live in southwest Michigan, and it is mid August. My father in-law is a retired middle school science teacher with a vast knowledge of insects and birds who believes it is related to the tomato eating caterpillar of the Sphinx variety, but I wanted more certainty. Could you help?
Signature: Curiously, Sang Park

Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar

Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Sang Park,
Your father-in-law is correct that this is a Sphinx Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar,
Lintneria eremitus, thanks to images of the Sphingidae of the Americas site where it states:  “Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda fistulosa), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage (Salvia).”  Were any of those plants nearby?  It may be easier to verify the identification by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.

We do have a lot of mint growing voluntarily around our house and in our gardens. Thanks for the information!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please identify the big bug in picture
Location: north Georgia mountains
August 26, 2016 6:03 am
Good morning. A friend took the attached photo earlier this week. and has given his explicit permission for me to do with it what I want, including sharing it/using it. Our community is in the North Georgia mountains, and my friend’s home is located in the lower elevations of the neighborhood, adjacent to the golf course.
There have been a lot of yellow-jackets in the area this year, so we’re happy that something might be attacking them. But, what in the heck is that big something?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to provide.
Signature: Edie

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Yellow Jacket

Dear Edie,
The predator in the image is a Red Footed Cannibalfly, a large species of Robber Fly.  While Robber Flies might bite a person who carelessly tried to handle one, they are not aggressive towards humans.  The unnatural position of the wings of the Red Footed Cannibalfly in your image is somewhat disturbing, leading us to speculate that it is no longer alive and possibly the victim of Unnecessary Carnage.

Subject: What the heck is this?
Location: Chichester, Quebec
August 26, 2016 8:03 am
Hello bugman,
My mother recently took a picture of a strange bug she saw on her farm. I tried looking up what bug it is on google with no success and we are both really curious as to what it is. Can you help?
Thank you very much and have a nice day!
Signature: Angie

Bee Fly:  Lepidophora lutea

Bee Fly: Lepidophora lutea

Dear Angie,
This unusual fly is a harmless Bee Fly,
Lepidophora lutea.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Archilestris magnificus
Location: Palominas, Arizona
August 25, 2016 7:37 pm
I actually found out what this guy was from your website when I first photographed it in 2013. Haven’t seen it since, until yesterday. First photo from 2013, second from yesterday, 8/24/2016. They seem to like being photographed, quite the posers!
Signature: mtnrow

Robber Fly:  Archilestris magnificus

Robber Fly: Archilestris magnificus

Dear mtnrow,
Thanks so much for providing us with documentation of two sightings of this magnificent Robber Fly,
Archilestris magnificus, a species we first posted back in 2007.

Robber Fly:  Archilestris magnificus

Robber Fly: Archilestris magnificus

Subject: Black Witch Moth
Location: Studio City, CA
August 25, 2016 12:25 am
Dear Bugman,
I found, I believe, a Black Witch Moth female on the wall at the entrance of my parking deck. I am concerned about the sorry state of its beautiful wings. It has been there for a while. It was dusk when I found it.
Signature: Jessica Chortkoff

Female Black Witch

Female Black Witch

Dear Jessica,
You are correct that this is a female Black Witch moth.  The Black Witch is a long-lived species that is known to migrate thousands of miles.  Their wings can often get quite tattered, but that does not seem to negatively impact their ability to fly.

Oh that is good. I did some research and found out that if a butterfly injures its wing in such a way that they are no longer symmetrical it will starve because it can’t really fly. The only way to save it would be to put it in the fridge for ten minutes, so it goes into a trancelike state, then hold it and clip the wings so they are the exact same shape, or if you have extra butterfly wings on hand, you can try to glue part of the doner insects’  wing on to make it symmetrical. I am not sure I am a butterfly surgeon. Another option would be to build a butterfly garden on my balcony. It has probably flown away by now though.

Subject: Blue Bee??
Location: Pleasant Hills, Pa 15236
August 25, 2016 6:31 am
Hello,
I found what looks like a blue bee in my house this morning (August 25, 2016). It was, thankfully, dead (stalked and killed by my cat). I have never seen anything like it and my dad suggested you may be able to identify it.
Signature: Thank you, Rachel

Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp

Dear Rachel,
This is a Cuckoo Wasp in the family Chrysididae and according to BugGuide:  “The female sting has been modified into an egg-laying tube with highly reduced valvulae and poison gland. As a result, unlike most other aculeates, chrysidids cannot sting and can be easily handled.”